As an entrepreneur, creating and establishing a brand can be a slippery slope. Most entrepreneurs come up with what they consider to be a great business idea, and they have the passion and the ability to bring their idea to the marketplace. Unlike large conglomerates or well-established companies, when a small business begins its journey, the foundation of the business is the idea. You must, however, take into consideration all of the pieces and parts that bring your idea to life.
Sell what you believe in
Small businesses – really, any business – cannot simply be successful because of market need. As a business owner, you need to match your personal beliefs to the business you choose. There’s no way you could recommend the best filet to your customers if you don’t eat meat. Additionally, if the business you run goes against your personal beliefs, you will not be impassioned to sell or drive the business to its ideal niche. One of the most powerful pieces to the business puzzle is what gets conveyed by your business message. The details that can be pulled from every press release and marketing campaign will stick with the consumer – and if you’re not buying it, why should he? Your message has to be something you truly believe in for your business to reach its full potential.
How appealing are “genuine” or natural resources to customers?
I am very specific and transparent about the resources I use and how I do business. This helps to spread the message about supporting small businesses, as well as differentiate my collection from many others. This, in turn, helps create a real, branded entity beyond my taglines, logos, or marketing messages. My customers know what they’re getting. They know that the items are genuine and that how I do business is an important part of what I make. So many businesses have been financially successful by using methods that are unkind, secretive, or bordering on unethical. There are many that, upon deeper examination, have been exposed for things I’m sure they wish the public was not aware of. I firmly believe that, if given the right information about a product, most people will choose to purchase items produced using natural resources, genuine materials, and people-friendly practices. Use quality products, created by quality people, in a properly run shop and be transparent about it!
How does an authentic approach change a company’s marketing?
When you market a business that has a transparent approach, it becomes simple. Marketing is hype for your business; many companies wonder how they can convey a message that will encourage patronage. If, however, you have a firm belief in what you do, creating that hype and buzz is easy.
People can see through false messages and information that is filed with fluff. Of course, there are areas in the marketplace where the approach of transparency and authentic products may not matter, but in niche markets, with highly educated consumers, it does matter. If you are approaching like-minded people, you have a better ability to target how they think and what’s important to them, not just as consumers, but as people.
How can companies using “real” resources interject this message in their branding?
Using the messages that matter to your brand, and explaining how the products meet your ideals and criteria, is not just a good business practice, but it can lead to success for you as a business owner. Being true to yourself and your foundations is what will differentiate you from the competition and ingratiate you to your customer base. Doing the right thing, liking what you do, and feeling proud of your products and impact on the greater good of this world that is overrun with characterless products all pay off, both in karma and money. Stand out by being yourself and standing up for what you believe in.
By using quality products, quality people, and a commitment to principles of transparency and honesty, you will set yourself apart from most of the market. Your customers will see you – and your business – as a quality investment.
Christine Lorenzo is a Boston-based designer and founder of SariBlue, an earthy, bohemian jewelry collection centered on the Turkish evil eye bead. As a member of The Artisan Group, her collection has been featured at the GBK Productions Luxury Lounge honoring the 2012 Golden Globes, the 2012 Oscars, and the 2012 MTV Movie Awards nominees and presenters.